Why Collaboration is the Key to Innovation

Collaboration – or working together with someone else to produce or create something – is key to innovation. Working jointly in intellectual endeavors means connecting the world’s best minds, all working from the same page, to solve problems and overcome barriers. 

At Agmatix, we’re firm believers in the power of collaboration, built on a foundation of open-source agriculture data. Better agronomic data and strong connections between researchers and agriculture industry professionals lead to better yields and profits, sustainable production and improved soil health, and ultimately positive outcomes for the environment. 

Collaboration Keeps Science Moving

Dr. Kenneth Wilson, 1982 Nobel Prize in Physics recipient, said “the hardest problems of pure and applied science can only be solved by the open collaboration of the worldwide scientific community.” 

This is certainly evident in agriculture science. Collaboration has been key throughout agriculture’s history. For example, Dr. Evangelina Villegas and Dr. Surinder Vasal, with their teams at the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), improved the productivity and nutritional content of maize through the development of quality protein maize in the 1980s. This collaboration supported the national security of communities that depend on maize. 

Maize protein is an example of collaboration in agriculture science leading the way for innovation. In the future, new challenges in agriculture will have to be addressed – and collaboration can help to overcome them. Feeding a growing population and protecting the environment come to mind as key challenges that agriculture will face in the near term. 

The United Nations projects a global population increase from 8 billion people to 10.4 billion people by the century’s end. No additional land is available to feed that growing population. Collaboration will be required to create solutions that feed more people on the same or less land.  

While feeding a growing population, agriculture will also need to protect the environment. Agriculture currently contributes around 11% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Deforestation, livestock manure, and household consumption are leading sources of greenhouse gas emissions in agriculture

Sustainable agriculture production will need to lead the way in reducing agriculture’s carbon footprint and protecting natural resources. 

Agmatix’s Tools Enable Collaboration

Collaboration is fueled by shared knowledge and information. It takes the right tools to connect people and data. Agmatix supports scientific collaboration in agriculture through our Axiom technology, Agronomic Trial Management tool, and Insights capabilities. 

Axiom Technology converts big data into actionable insights. The Growing Universal Agronomic Standard (GUARDS) protocol is an ontology hierarchy system for agriculture data harmonization that aggregates and standardizes all research data, so it can be used for collaboration. 

One component of the GUARDS protocol is to convert different measurement units into a single unit and standardize the data values accordingly. For international agriculture research teams, working in metric or imperial measurements is no longer a concern – everyone can be on the same page. Through Axiom Technology and the GUARDS protocol, all data is speaking the same language and is apples to apples. 

Agmatix’s Agronomic Trial Management is a tool for trial coordinators, research scientists, CROs, and field technicians collaborating on on-farm experiments. An easy-to-use interface enables quick communication with others on the team. Users can track task assignments across team members and receive updates related to ongoing field trials. Sharing data with team members and partners is simple, allowing for real-time visibility and control. 

For trial coordinators and research scientists, the Insights platform is a powerful tool for agricultural data collaboration. Data from all field trials are housed in a singular, unified platform. It’s easy to visualize and share all of an organization’s trial data with the team or CROs in just a few clicks. 

Field technicians, agronomists, marketers, and executive managers can use the Digital Crop Advisor platform to drive a proactive business and deeply understand their crop production markets. Management, sales agronomists, and marketing have visibility to where products are selling and what crops they’re being used in. Digital Crop Advisor allows the whole team to collaborate on proactive product supply planning driven by customer needs and real-time data. 

Agmatix’s Collaboration Culture

Agmatix doesn’t just provide tools for agriculture professionals to effectively collaborate – we’re actively working with others in the industry to enable open-source agriculture data that spurs innovation. Through partnerships with other organizations, two databases have been developed to support ag data analytics

The Global Crop Nutrient Removal Database was created through collaboration between Agmatix, the International Fertilizer Association, Innovative Solutions for Decision Agriculture, African Plant Nutrition Institute, and Wageningen University & Research. By looking at production and environmental factors that affect nutrient concentrations, it’s possible to determine the total amount of nutrients removed from the field in the harvested portion of the crop. 

This source of open agriculture data highlights the connections between inputs and outputs of crop nutrients in varying production environments. Armed with this data, crop nutrition work and management can be optimized for sustainability and crop productivity. 

Another example of open agriculture data is the Nutrient Omission Trial Database. Its goal is to provide data that supports site-specific agricultural recommendations and optimized nutrient management. The database was created in collaboration with the International Fertilizer Association, the African Plant Nutrition Institute, Innovative Solutions for Decision Agriculture, and Agmatix. 

The database enables agriculture researchers to compare crop nutrient requirements and plans to support site-specific recommendations. The database notes variations in soil fertility and other farm-specific environmental conditions. A single, open, standardized data set was created through the GUARDS protocol consolidating legacy nutrient omission research data from various sources. This streamlines integration into advanced fertilization tools and improves collaboration between Consortium for Precision Crop Nutrition members. 

Collaboration Leads the Way 

To continue making progress in providing food sustainably for the world, collaboration is essential, and Agmatix’s tools can help. Agmatix believes in a collaborative future of agriculture supported by open agriculture data for researchers and agriculture professionals around the globe. 

Through connecting people and data, Agmatix enables the type of collaboration that created quality protein maize. Agmatix takes data analytics in precision agriculture to new heights. 

With tools like Axiom Technology, Agronomic Trial Management, and Digital Crop Advisors, industry professionals can collaborate in new ways. Key sustainability and crop production decisions are supported by open-source agriculture data from the Global Crop Nutrient Database and Nutrient Omission Trial Database. With a foundation of collaboration tools and agriculture open data, the future is bright for innovation in agriculture.